Knitting. I used to wonder, what’s all the fuss about? I understood the practical side of it. One needs a scarf, one knits oneself a scarf, one no longer needs a scarf. But for all the knitters I have known, the joy of knitting seems to run deeper than that. Turns out, the act of knitting yields much more than just a hat, scarf or blanket.
My urge to knit came out of nowhere in the beginning of September 2011. I spoke briefly with my mother about this strange turn of events and how I felt pulled to learn how to knit. My mother said to me, “well, it’s in your blood.”
In my blood?
Yes. My grandmother was an avid knitter before the Holocaust and after she survived such tragedy, she made her living as a seamstress. My mother said she herself went through a knitting phase and found it very soothing. That was all I needed to hear.
I googled the nearest mom and pop knitting store and off I went to The Yarn Company for a discussion in wool, knitting needle sizes and a 30 minute personal introductory lesson on how to knit a scarf.
I was conflicted about integrating a new hobby in to my life though. With new hobbies, comes new gear. The tools one needs, the extra this or that, there is always stuff that goes along with taking up a new hobby. I used to go overboard with new hobbies and buy all sorts of stuff to “support” my new found interest. Most times, I would find myself a few months in and barely using any of the stuff.
Living a simple minimalist-ish lifestyle has helped me curb the crazy urges to buy gear, tools, and what not when it comes to hobbies. Also, having de-cluttered so much physical stuff from life already, I was hesitant to bring new stuff in. So I was clear headed while entering the shop and went as minimal as I could with my purchases. The two items I bought during my first visit to the yarn store were:
-one pair of knitting needles
-big ball of yarn.
That is it. I use an old bag to hold the yarn and needles and keep it out of site unless of course I’m knitting. I only pick up my knitting needles when I feel the urge and I have no goals when I knit. I could complete 2 lines, 10 lines or 50 lines, makes no difference. The act of knitting for me at this point is not to complete a project. It is to engage in an action that brings positive feelings to my life. And somehow, it does. I find it very meditative. I also love the act of creating. It’s a beautiful thing to observe an object being created with my own hands! It feels simple and ancient.
As I have no need for another scarf, I will be gifting this scarf with love when the right opportunity presents itself.
I would like to add that when choosing my wool, I expressed my deep concern as to what type of wool I was willing to purchase and work with. Living a plant based life for the past year and 8 months has opened my eyes to the plight of exploited animals all around the world. I do not expect anyone to share this feeling with me but I try to make the best decisions I can when faced with the opportunity or challenge to make a kind choice for the animals. It is very hard to genuinely know how wool has been obtained and if the animal was treated with love and respect during the shearing process. The owner of the knitting shop sat patiently on the floor with me and presented me with all my options. I settled on a brand that I felt most comfortable with. The woman who owns the brand I bought, raises her own sheep, shears them herself, spins the fiber herself and hand dyes the fiber with earth friendly dyes. I was sold!
Here I am below, happy as can be that I finished knitting my very first scarf!
What activity to you engage in that brings tranquility to your life?
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